27 November 2009

Indoor Track in Springfield, IL

Duration = 47:00
Distance = 3.78
Calories = 420
Max HR = 184
Avg HR = 148
Running Index = 44
Max Cadence = 124
Avg Cadence = 90

After Thanksgiving, my wife and I did a road trip to Springfield, IL. Another member of our party noted that access to a local gym came with the room we were in. She and I took advantage of that access this evening before dinner.

She explored the indoor pools and did some water aerobics. I used their indoor track (13 laps per mile) as I have friends who think I already spend too much time on treadmills. There was never more than one other runner or walker on the track which was two lanes wide. I did the entire session aiming to keep my HR around 145 except for the three strides I ran on one of the longer straight sections. I also ran the last lap as a strong sprint.

[Posted 3 Dec 2009]

26 November 2009

Thanksgiving Day Shuffle

Duration = 33:05
Distance = 1.96
Calories = 231
Max HR = 138
Avg HR = 130
Running Index = 41
Max Cadence = 92
Avg Cadence = 72

I ate way too much. I took it easy on myself and held the HR down. I did a 5 minute warm-up run at 4.0 mph and held that pace until about 8:00 into the session when I slowed to keep the HR under 135. This resulted in a drop to a walk for the remainder of the session.

[Posted 3 Dec 2009]

21 November 2009

USAF Fitness Test - Nov 2009

Duration = 16:42
Distance = 1.85
Calories = 190
Max HR = 192
Avg HR = 171
Running Index = 46
Max Cadence = 97
Avg Cadence = 108

I didn't have to complete this assessment this month, but I did anyway. We ran on a 1/4 mile track. I ran the first lap with another unit member running just ahead and to the outside. For the second lap, I picked up the pace to demonstrate what his target would look like. I ran the remaining mile at a progressively faster pace. Final time was 13:06 (8:44/mile) which beats last years time by 30 seconds. I then ran with the other member for his last lap.

My waist is still 37 inches and I only did 30 push-ups and 20 sit-ups which, with the run, yielded 75.15 points. This is just good enough to pass this year. The rules change next year. This performance next year would yield 75.3 points which meets the 75-point requirement, but you also have to meet a minimum on each component. I would fail as I need 34 sit-ups to pass that component of the test. My best performance on the sit-ups is 24, so I have a ways to go to bridge the gap. The good news is that I have at least 6 months before I have to meet the new standard.

[Posted 3 Dec 2009]

19 November 2009

We Have a Baseline

Duration = 36:07
Distance = 2.70
Calories = 286
Max HR = 153
Avg HR = 139
Running Index = 47
Max Cadence = 101
Avg Cadence = 90

You gotta like it when you have to increase pace to keep from falling under your target HR range. Tonight, I planned a shorter session leading into my assessment this weekend. Heart rate took a bit longer to ramp up tonight than the rest of the week. I was still in the target range when I got to 4.9 mph. After 2 minutes there, I was under the target again, so I increased to 5.0. I stayed in the range for the rest of the session. Also, the cool-down had me down to a HR of 116. Granted this was a shorter session, everything is pointing to improved fitness.

Based on these numbers, I will try for a 1.5-mile time of 12:00. This would knock over a minute off the average pace. I hope I have enough strength endurance in my arms and core for a decent showing on those parts of the assessment. I am a bit disappointed in myself as I had hoped to be shooting for an across-the-board maximum performance by now, but I haven't trained for it and that is not even on the radar at this time.

18 November 2009

More data

Duration = 51:12
Distance = 3.89
Calories = 426
Max HR = 155
Avg HR = 143
Running Index = 46
Max Cadence = 99
Avg Cadence = 89

Tonight was very similar to yesterday. Following the same plan, I reached the same peak speed, 4.9 mph. I held it for longer (20 minutes) before I had to dropped to 4.8 which I maintained until my cool-down. Cool-down was 6 minutes ending with 1 minute at 2.0 and a finishing heart rate of 123.

Assuming tomorrow is in the same ball park, I have my baseline for my base building cycle. I'm also feeling good with my running and this is very good news.

17 November 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

Duration = 1:06:18
Distance = 5.01
Calories = 571
Max HR = 156
Avg HR = 145
Running Index = 45
Max Cadence = 97
Avg Cadence = 90

I used the same plan as yesterday with the exception being that I was going to run for 60 minutes instead of 45. I expected that I would see a very similar progression. What happened is that my heart rate seemed to be ramping up at a slower rate. I made it all the way to 4.9 mph (vs 4.5 yesterday) before I hit 145, the bottom of the range (145-155) I want to run in for the time being. I maintained 4.9 until I started bumping the top of that target range after 14 minutes (27 minutes into the session). I dropped to 4.8. The next drops were also .1 each after 9 and 10 minutes. The last section was run at 4.6. The cool-down was to 4.5 then .5 each minute to 2.0 finishing with a heart rate of 125 after 1 minute at 2.0.

I don't totally understand the difference unless it is a bit cooler in the basement today. The watch if anything measured a touch warmer (72°F vs 70°F). I don't wear the watch when running on the treadmill; I attach it to a bar on the treadmill. I experienced no significant discomfort during this run. It is nice to have run up to 10% faster for the same heart rate. Individual session variation is one reason I am using this whole week as a baseline for this training cycle.

16 November 2009

The Long, Hard Road

Duration = 50:11
Distance = 3.62
Calories = 432
Max HR = 155
Avg HR = 145
Running Index = 42
Max Cadence = 105
Avg Cadence = 90

[There have been a few sessions since the last entry, but I'm going to look forward rather then go back and get them.]

This is the start of my training for my next Goal Race, the 2010 USAF Marathon in September. One thing I've learned about myself is that I need a goal to focus my attention. I have a couple other significant events next year: the Bataan Memorial Death March in March and the Trail Half Marathon in April. I will also run a series of 10Ks over the winter and am looking to have about a race a month until September. As the USAF Marathon will be my first race at marathon distance, my goal is to finish, but I would like to finish well.

The Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, NM is my intermediate goal. It is marathon length, but I don't plan to race it. I will be participating in the Military Heavy division. This means, for me, my US Air Force utility uniform with approved combat boots and a backpack with at least 35 pounds of payload. My plan is to finish and I have all day (about 13 hours) to do it. As the name suggests, this is in memory of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines during WWII. We still have a few survivors of that event who are on hand for the start of this commemorative event. It is honoring my military heritage that is my primary intent for this event. Also, the 35 pounds will represent the weight I will have lost over a year and a half of training. Because I expect to do this event at a significantly slower pace than any of my other races, I will do all my training leading to it as long, slow, distance (LSD) runs. This will be a long base-building cycle patterned after some of the writing of John Hadd. It also takes a page from Matt Fitzgerald's Brain Training. Basically, I will be training at, or near, the pace I hope to hold for the March.

In April, I plan to run the Trail Half Marathon that I missed in 2009 because of my deployment. We'll see where we are at after recovering from the March and extend the training to the end of April. The last race before I start the specific training for the USAF Marathon will be the Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day. I will likely using Hal Higdon's Novice 2 program as the basis of my marathon training.

The goal for this week is to set a baseline to start the base training. The current plan is for 45 and 60 minute runs at about a heart rate of 150. Today, I started at 4.0 mph (15:00) for the first 5 minutes and then increased by .1 each minute until I reached 4.5 as this got me into the 145-155 range I had as my target. I then ran the rest of the 45 minute session at 4.5. At 45:00, I dropped to 4 and then dropped .5 each minute to 2.0 and finished after 1 minute at 2.0 with a final heart rate of 126.